Armed far-right group arrested in Paris after World Cup match

Armed far-right group arrested in Paris after World Cup match
Avenue des Champs-Élysées (Paris). Credit: Suicasmo / Creative Commons

Some 40 members of a far-right group were arrested in Paris on Wednesday after France won over Morocco in the semi-finals of the World Cup. The group were preparing to flock to the Champs-Elysée, and they were accused of possessing illegal weapons.

The group was arrested in the 17th quarter of the French capital over possession of illegal weapons, while also being suspected of "grouping with a view to committing violence", one police source told the AFP.

Several members of the group are already known to the police for belonging to the far-right.

"They clearly wanted to do battle on the Champs-Elysées," added another police source.

Around 2,200 police were on standby in Paris on Wednesday evening to oversee festivities after France's Les Bleus won 2-0 against Morocco and thousands of people took to the streets in Paris to celebrate the victory.

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New French Greens leader Marine Tondelier criticised far-right politicians Eric Zemmour and Jordan Bardella for inciting the image of an incoming attack by violent Morocco supporters. "You did not tell us that you were talking about your allies of the ultra-right who were preparing for some old-fashioned violence…," she tweeted.

It was not only Paris in seeing violent plots orchestrated by far-right groups targeting Morocco supporters.

Arrests in Lyon and Nice

In Lyon, a group of extremist far-right supporters descended on Place Bellecour after the match. Police intervened after a fight erupted. Seven people were arrested, including two far-right militants.

Crowds gathered at the centre of Nice when the match ended. According to Le Figaro, hooded men chased Morocco supporters, shouting "Arabs out" and "we are at home." Three people were arrested for setting fire to bins, according to Actu Nice.

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